Mouth Maladies

Dental Professional Recommends Remedies to Common Oral Problems

By Amy Morgan


There’s nothing more appealing than a radiant smile. Shiny, healthy teeth and fresh breath are a real confidence booster. But what happens when you realize something has gone awry? Rachel Pajarillo, Registered Dental Assistant with 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics, has some advice to help you diagnose and solve common oral health problems. Rachel has worked at 7to7 for the past year since she graduated from UTSA with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. She plans to apply to dental school, with hope to become a dentist in the future. 


Rachel encourages everyone to brush their teeth twice a daily, use mouthwash, never miss a day flossing and remain vigilant about biannual dental checkups. These practices will help keep most mouth maladies at bay. However, despite best efforts, sometimes you may notice: 


  1. Gingivitis – gum disease caused by bacteria forming under the gums that leads to inflammation. Symptoms of gingivitis are bleeding when flossing and gum tenderness. If the bacteria is not removed from the gumline, it will begin to harden and lead to bone loss. While it may seem counterintuitive to floss when it makes your gums bleed, flossing is actually the best way to removing any food trapped between teeth. This prevents not only gingivitis, but also:

  1. Halitosis — bad breath. Rachel says the lingering scent is most often caused from food stuck between the teeth. The sooner you can get what’s in your mouth causing bad breath out, the less it will smell and/or cause tooth damage. Rachel also suggests a mouthwash not only to freshen breath but improve gum health. She selects those that have gum detoxifying ingredients or fluoride to strengthen the teeth. A Pro tip: Let a fluoride mouthwash sit on the teeth. Rinsing immediately washes the effective ingredients down the drain. 

  2. What if you notice your tongue is black? Little hair-like projections called papillae line our tongue. Bacteria and fungus can grow on its warm, wet environment. Tobacco, red wine or some medicines can stain the papillae, and dairy products also can create a film. Part of brushing your teeth includes brushing your tongue. Some toothbrushes include a rubber side for the tongue, or you can buy an inexpensive tongue scraper. If systems persist, you might need an antibiotic or antifungal medicine to treat the problem. 

  3. A cracked or chipped tooth may not cause immediate pain, but it should not be ignored. An untreated crack could progress, break off, and/or hit a nerve, which causes extreme pain. If the crack travels below the gumline, it might require a root canal. Rachel cautions not to ignore a problem. Just because something is not painful does not mean it’s not causing damage. Seek the advice of your dental professional to assess and recommend the best course of action. 


The professionals at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics care about your oral health and are available 7 a.m.- 7 p.m., seven days a week, for dentistry for the whole family and emergencies. 7to7 Dental is a local business, grown in 14 years from the practice of one dentist and six staff. Co-Owners Dr. Winburn and Justin Coke, and many of the 250 staff members live in Stone Oak with their families and are part of the community. 

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